I'm Going to the Mall of America. Anything I Shouldn't Miss?

Hubby and I decided to use our mini-vacation this month to visit the Temple of Shamelss Commerce. I’ve gone over their website, and quite a few things look interesting, but I wanted some pointers from folks who have been there. We have three full days.

What’s the best way to see the thing?

What are the best resturants?

What are other worthwhile attractions in the area?

We’re taking our dog-- are there any lovely parks or trails you’d reccomend for walks? (And other pet-friendly places.)

I went there with expectations of something special maybe 2-3 years ago. I was hugely disappointed. The only thing U suggest you don’t miss is the EXIT sign,

It is, and is only, a VERY LARGE mall.

Really, a trip of any great distance is not worth it. I drove from Madison, WI, at bit more than half a state away, and that wasn’t worth it, except for the fact I was hooking up with a friend in Minneapolis and we had other stuff to do.

The aquarium is nice. Is that still there?

Otherwise, it’s just a supersized standard american mall, IMHO.

The UNDERWATER ADVENTURES[sup]®[/sup] AQUARIUM was a nice little 20-30 minutes. I actually went to it first and then wandered the Mall and went back through it one more time on the way out of the Mall.
I wandered through the Amusement park, but I did not ride and rides.

I cannot help you on the best place to eat, I was only a one time tourist.
I ate at Tony Roma’s, my steak was good and the Bass was cold.


Skip the mall and head to the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum.

Mine is somewhat of a unique situation. I live in BFE and the nearest mall is over an hour away. It’s not often that I go, so I’m not yet jaded by the sight of masses of merchandise. I am also salivating over the three large bookstores I saw on the website. (In the malls nearest to me, the bookstores are boutique-sized.)

Secondly, there is a curiosity draw to seeing the largest site of filthy lucre in the US. (Maybe even on the planet.)

I realize though, that no mall is three-days-worth of entertainment, which is why I asked about other attractions in the area, within, say, an hour radius. If the attraction is Super Cool, I might drive further since I might not ever be in that area again.

I agree. I have been to both places and the Mustard Museum is more interesting. And it’s not very interesting.

The Lego Imagination Center is pretty neat to see but most of the things for sale in the Mall are slightly more expensive than they’d be elsewhere. Mostly the locals tend to shop elsewhere and leave the Mall of America for the tourists.

IIRC, there are some very good bookstores in downtown Minneapolis, Or is it St, Paul? I’ve only been there a couple of times and I don’t know where one ends and another begins.

Now if you want adventures in shopping, the place to go is NEW YAWK CITY. In fact, I posted about shopping in NYC just earlier today.

The Walker Art Center is a surprisingly awesome modern art museum with a fantastic sculpture garden across the street. Make sure you go into the greenhouse with the huge Frank Gehry fish sculpture in it. The museum is free one night a week, but I can’t remember which one.

Don’t let the naysayers get you down. I’m not much of a mall person, but for one day to just immerse yourself in it, it can be pretty enjoyable. Indulge the female gatherer (not hunter) side of your shopping persona. Just walk around looking at what catches your eye, and buy whatever fits your budget and makes you happy. Pace yourself, rest for a few and enjoy a coffee or a snack when you feel tired. If your hubby will be with you and is not likely to enjoy this approach, arrange a separate activity for him–maybe he goes to a movie or something.

There are tons of great parks in the Twin Cities. Two I would recommend are Lake Calhoun and Minnehaha Park. There are also two zoos in the area, Como Park in St. Paul and The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. They are both nice, with the Minnesota Zoo more of a modern, natural habitat type.

There are also good museums, especially the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis and the Science Museum in St. Paul. A historic site in the area, Fort Snelling, is also an area you might like to visit.

Enjoy your trip!

You won’t want to miss the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.

I knew beforehand what I was in for. Buncha snobby, anti-matrerialistic, prissy intellectuals around here! :wink: (I kid, I kid! Don’t hit me!)

Hubby and I aren’t really “mall people” either. It’s more of a landmark to us, something that represents both the best and worst of American culture at the same time. The only actual shopping I intend to do is in the bookstores.

Legoland!!! I grew up in Minnesota (until age 10) and I absolutely loved the lego area.

I’d probably still have fun with it. :slight_smile:

If bookstores are what you like, how about going a little bit further, to Hay-on Wye in Wales?

I agree with this - hit the Lego store, but otherwise it’s just a really big freakin mall with a little amusement park in the middle.

Well, that answers the question of where heaven is located.

Having visited Minneapolis just last weekend (but sadly missed the Mall of America), I can suggest hitting Nicolette (aka “Eat Street”) and Hennepin Streets for good food. Also, the Science Museum of Minnesota (www.smm.org) is showing the Body Worlds exhibit, which I’m told is utterly fantastic but not for the squeamish. Finally, since you’re going to be hanging out at the mall anyway, if you want to exchange the American consumer experience for the Scandinavian consumer experience, there’s a gigundo-sized Ikea right across the way. Have fun!

As long as you’re going to be in Bloomington, take 77-S and find your way over to the Imax theater at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley (it’s about a 10-15 minute drive from MOA). If your lucky you can catch something in #D like Ant Bully or Monster House. Watching a movie in Imax 3D is definitely worth the trip. The experience is so immersive you feel like you’re in the movie.